The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Brazil (Gordon)
82. Your 119, May 6, 4 p.m. You may express to the Minister for Foreign Affairs my particular appreciation of the very frank and helpful views communicated to you and reported in your cable under reference. You may also say that I feel that the maintenance of such intimate cooperation between our two Governments throughout the course of the peace negotiations will be of the greatest service.
I am particularly gratified to learn of the willingness of the Brazilian Government that the preliminary conversations be held in Buenos Aires. As stated to you in a previous cable, it would seem very difficult if not impossible to draw any clear line between preliminary conversations and the conciliation negotiations and for this reason the holding at Buenos Aires of both the preliminary conversations and the conciliation negotiations will make it possible for the former to merge into the latter without any discussion and further without the creation of any of the possible delay which the solution formerly favored by the Brazilian Government might involve. I have taken pleasure in communicating to the Argentine Ambassador here for the information of his Government the willingness of the Brazilian Government to hold the preliminary conversations at Buenos Aires and I have expressed the opinion that time was of the essence and that it was highly desirable that the conversations at Buenos Aires should commence at the earliest possible moment. I have also expressed the same views to the Governments of Chile and Peru.[Page 50]
I have this morning in accordance with the suggestion of the Brazilian Foreign Minister advised the Paraguayan Minister for the information of his Government that this Government believed that the Brazilian suggestion that preliminary conversations between the Foreign Ministers of the belligerents be held at Buenos Aires in the presence of the representatives of the mediating powers was an extremely valuable suggestion and that it met with the hearty approval of this Government.
While this Government shares the opinion of the Brazilian Government as to the desirability in the interest of a successful termination of the peace negotiations that a further proposal be advanced to the two belligerents urging an immediate truce, I believe that both the Brazilian Government and the United States must bear in mind the fact that having accepted the Argentine-Chilean invitation to participate in the peace negotiations and being therefore component parts of the mediating group, it would create controversy if the United States and Brazil alone joined in making this proposal to the belligerent nations. It is, therefore, believed that this proposal might more appropriately be made in the sessions of the conciliation commission to be installed at Buenos Aires and if the Brazilian Government will adopt this view and should it desire to advance this proposal in the sessions of the conciliation commission in Buenos Aires, the proposal will receive the warm support of the Government of the United States.
Please report by cable the result of your further conference with the Foreign Minister.